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Spain's Influence on the local Santa Barbara Spanish style of homes and landscapes


George Washington Smith architect design of authentic Seville Spain fountain photo, images


Santa Barbara Spanish style architecture has become well-known throughout the world, day by day as the passionate efforts of a variety of talented architects and designers carry on with the traditions of what began nearly 100 years ago...


when George Washington Smith moved to Montecito and serendipitously founded the California Movement in Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.


On this page, I share some favorite photos I have shot here in Santa Barbara and Montecito, as well as in various towns and cities in Spain.

Here, a beautiful Spain-inspired fountain at Casa Del Herrero (in Montecito, California).







authentic Spain brick and tile floor patterns, photos and images




For hundreds of years, the well traveled Spanish plazas have been the inspiration for designers and architects the world over.


The rich textures, colors and brick patterns are "timeless", classic combinations.






Authentic Seville Spain public fountain photos and images



LEFT: A classic fountain I came across while strolling through an old public square in Seville, Spain.









George Washington Smith architectural design photos and images in Montecito and Santa Barbara California




Locally (in the 1920s and 30s), George Washington Smith had an ability to recognize these classic Spanish patterns and finishes, and was then able to artistically design them in to his projects.

His Architectural Design Services grew quickly thereafter, as locals were intrigued with what he was creating.


Clients with means would commission him to design special homes with character, as they too wanted to bring these authentic materials and design details into their own projects.


Here, an East Courtyard at Casa Del Herrero, designed by George Washington Smith and George F. Steedman







George Washington Smith wrought iron window grilles on Spanish homes inspired by the streets of Spain photos and images



Most of the homes George Washington Smith designed in the Andalusian vernacular have become well known and cherished by the Santa Barbara and Montecito California communities.

His trips to Spain must have given him inspiration for the projects he was commissioned to design here.

I shot this photo of a simple wrought iron window grille on a beautiful quintessential historical street in Seville, Spain... just a block or two from Royal Alcazar Palace.

A window grille with simplistic details makes for an attractive composition.









George Washington Smith architect Meridian Studios project photos images in Santa Barbara California



George Washington Smith's had the ability to see, design and create beautiful new compositions using these Old World, authentic materials and resources from Spain.


It secured his legacy as the Founder and early leader in reshaping Santa Barbara's architectural look and feel into the "Spanish Style" we all know and love today.


The charming, gated entrance to the George Washington Smith designed Meridian Studios.










Seville Spain historic walls, columns and architectural details photos and images


When I shot this photo in the historic streets of Seville, Spain- I paused to wonder if perhaps George Washington Smith might have walked the same street, noticing / admiring this ancient detail.

Catedral de Sevilla- is a cathedral that was built over 500 years ago.

The columns and architectural details remind me of those at Meridian Studios, here in Santa Barbara, California (ABOVE).






Spain's influence on Santa Barbara, California Architecture



Spanish Revival iron balcony with tile details photos and images Spanish style homes


While I continued to walk and shoot photos in the quaint villages and towns of historic Spain...


I instantly began to appreciate the romantic and authentic architectural design elements that probably catch the eye of many artistic designers, homeowners, architects and artisans.


RIGHT: I shot this particular photo on a famously quaint, narrow alley in the Barri Gotic district (Gothic Quarter, Old Historic Town Barcelona, Spain).


Could GW Smith and George F. Steedman have stumbled upon this same dragon detail almost a hundred years ago?






George Washington Smith architectural iron details at Casa Del Herrero, photos and images from Montecito California project




LEFT: If you tour Casa Del Herrero "House of the Blacksmith" in Montecito, California...


check out this iron dragon detail that is mounted on the East Wall of the house, above an arched alcove with fountain.








George Washington Smith architect photos and images, projects in Montecito California including Casa Del Herrero


While spending quality time at the Architecture and Design Collection (at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara), I learned that George Washington Smith and his client George F. Steedman had traveled Spain together, studying the architectural details there...


Perusing the endless historic photos there in the UCSB collection, it looked like a fascinating trip. I would have given anything to have traveled with them and to listen in on their planning ideas.



This is another shot of the iron dragon George F. Steedman created in his own foundry and shop at Casa del Herrero.








George Washington Smith Casa Del Herrero photos and images of tile work and other detail in Montecito California



If you get a chance to tour Casa Del Herrero in Montecito...

make sure to check out the garage, as well. It is just wide enough to house a Model T car.


George Washington Smith and George F. Steedman put alot of effort in to it, and masterfully detailed it with classic, Spanish tile patterns.


Throughout Casa Del Herrero... you can see authentic Spain in the execution of their design.






Classic Spanish tile in Spain photos and images






I took this photo in a quaint Tapas Bar in the historic district in Seville, Spain.


Note the classic chair rail tile pattern.








George Washington Smith architect photos projects in Montecito Casa Del Herrero front door image





The Front Entry Door of Casa Del Herrero was one of the first photos I took on my first tour there.


George Washington Smith and George F. Steedman composed this beautiful, traditional and classic iron balcony above the front door.


They also installed an authentic Spanish door with iron clavos details and door knocker. Perhaps they purchased an antique door while on a trip to Spain.


I like the use of carved stone as an important design statement for the door surround.






Authentic Spanish Front Door photos from Spain and Spanish home photos and images



Here, a pair of wood doors with decorative iron clavos and a door knocker that is very eye catching.


I came across this attractive pair of doors in the narrow streets of Seville, Spain.



I thought the pounded sheet metal at the bottom was both decorative and ingenious for protecting it from the bumps and common dents that inevitably happen while living on a busy alleyway in this vibrant, historic city.








Streets of Spain comparison with Santa Barbara Spanish style architecture photos and images


I found these narrow streets of Seville, Spain to be riddled with unique architectural embellishments that I could study for hours and days at a time.


It makes sense in a sea of historic buildings that the building owners would hire Artisans to create "Signature" markings to their properties. Here, a carved stone Family Crest.


Also note classic Spanish tile beneath the twisted iron balcony.




authentic Sevilla Spain graphic art, signage, photos and images in Seville Spain


Like-minded Art + Architecture lovers could spend endless hours wandering the streets of historic Spain.

I shot this interesting graphic- An old map, mounted to a wall...

another souvenir photo and fond memory of the treasures I stumbled upon, while exploring cities in Spain.





Casa del Herrero Window Grille


I shot these other images while touring Casa del Herrero with a client.

LEFT: I like this traditional Spanish technique of combining an iron window grille with a shelf for potted plants.

Casa del Herrero is open to the public and is a quintessential example of an artistically designed Santa Barbara Spanish Revival Style home. 

Here is another cool shot I captured there, that day.




Casa del Herrero Front DoorCasa del Herrero Sculptural Passageway

Casa del Herrero Entrance Columns by George Washington Smith




Casa del Herrero Mailbox by George Washington SmithGeorge Washington Smith Secret Garden Arch at Casa del Herrero Montecito CA


George Washington Smith Meridian Studios Santa Barbara CA








Other Influential Spanish Colonial Revival Architects of Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara Courthouse by photographer Jeff Doubet Santa Barbara CA

Although George Washington Smith is the most well known and celebrated designer architect in Santa Barbara and Montecito history...

Since the 1920s there are other noted California architects + designers that have contributed to Santa Barbara’s unique charm.

These talented architects and Landscape Architects include:

Carlton Winslow

Reginald Johnson

William Mooser III

Bertram Goodhue

Edwards and Plunkett (Arlington Theatre)

Landscape Architect Lockwood de Forest



Arlington_Theatre by photographer Jeff Doubet Santa Barbara

About Santa Barbara Architecture:


Spanish Colonial Revival (1915 - 1930s California) is considered the most popularly identified "Spanish Style" in the Santa Barbara Downtown

El Pueblo Viejo Landmark District is a beautiful concentration of architecturally significant and important Santa Barbara buildings-

The City of Santa Barbara Charter for Designing Downtown architecture also puts an emphasis on Monterey Revival and California Adobe as other desirable Spanish Styles of Architecture for El Pueblo Viejo (the Old Town).



best red tile roof photos of Santa Barbara courthouse


LEFT: Classic red tile roof and white plaster on the Santa Barbara's Courthouse.

It is a favorite shot I captured many years ago.







historic downtown Santa Barbara California photos and images




A familiar side entrance and narrow alley way in the historic downtown district of El Pueblo Viejo in Santa Barbara, California



The "organicness" of hand troweled plaster, cobble stone walkways, hand wrought iron details and 2 piece mission red tile roofs add to the authenticity of bringing Spain to our little seaside hamlet.







whimsical architecture of Barcelona Spain, photos and images



Even Santa Barbara's newest, most whimsical architecture might have faint traces of Spain's architectural DNA...

perhaps a magical moment during a stroll through the streets of Spain.


We know for sure, that for well over 100 years local Santa Barbara Architects, Designers and their clients have been visiting Spain for our inspiration.




LEFT: I shot this image at La Plaza de Toros Monumental de Barcelona. It was once a famous bull ring in Barcelona.

The 100+ year old structure is a fixture in historic Barcelona Spain.







whimsical architecural style in Barcelona Spain photos and images



The artistically designed and built Arena has quite a colorful past... and some amazing details.


I bought a ticket to wandered the empty grounds (now a museum). I imagined the roar of the crowds echoing through the perfectly round structure.


I wondered what it would have been like to experience a real life bull fight there- the Gladiator aspect of it all...






Adamson House Malibu California


Other influential Architects and Designers:

I have always admired Wallace Neff's(Libbey Ranch)

and Stiles O. Clements (Adamson House)

LEFT: Adamson House

as major influencers on my creative outlook,

and design style for carrying on the tradition of Hand Drawn, Concept Renderings

They had the mindset of an artist creating a work of art, when designing their homes.










Other inspiring Santa Barbara Home Design Resources


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Jeff Doubet


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